The relationship between music and drama has been there since ‘donkey’s ears’. In fact, it (music) is supposedly one of the dominating features of the dramatic art. The musical theatre is what can be called the marriage of these two features. This genre of art has evolved since the past 150 years, is extremely popular and still evolving to the present day. It is one of those dramatic forms which house a lot of variety, artistic significance and commercial appeal. The musical possibilities had been furthered with the introduction of black musical comedy, Viennese operetta, light operas and the like.
The initial two-thirds of the twentieth century could be termed as the Golden age of the American musical theatre. It was however divided into two distinct phases. The time between the 1900 and the late 1920’s was the first part wherein comedy of all sorts like emphasising, youthful, musical along with minimally clad young women belonging to the chorus, spectacular dancing and occasional patriotic jingoism, were seen.
These dramas were characterised by very simple plots, happy and comical characters, gleeful dancing and singing that hardly had any kind of connection with the plot, and utterly unchallenging themes. The second phase of musical theatre however, varied considerably and is prevalent even today. The typical character of these musical theatres included serious and rather complex plots, sophisticated treatment of music; what grabbed the attention more during this time was the delivery of dialogues along with the singing and dancing.
There are numerous fans of this genre of drama even in the present fast paced world and one of them is Bradley Sterling. He is an ardent fan of this genre of theatre and also very passionate about music. It is his love for music that encourages him to become a music engineer or editor some day. He wishes to produce music for his own stage musical and is totally dedicated to the cause.
The contemporary world though has a lot of the reminiscence of the Golden Age of American Musicals yet has incorporated several changes into it. The major growth has been witnessed in terms of the choreography of these musicals. The ‘West Side Story’, ‘Chicago’ is some of the mention worthy examples of the contemporary musical theatre.
It is important to note that the composition and lyrics of the songs being sung at these musicals have also been creating a great influence on the quality of the musicals. This aspect of the musical must be a joyful note for people like Bradley Sterling who are so engrossed in the world of music. He has the extensive knowledge of playing various kinds of instruments and that further substantiates his inclination towards theatre.
One very fresh sort of musical available these days is the sing through musicals which is largely contributed by Europe. The modern day musicals are centred on serious and grave subjects such as environmental degradation, homosexuality and even race relations. Though the basic features of the musical theatre have undergone sea-changes but the love for such theatrical performances has not been diminished in any way.